Interview with Daryl Wall, March 2, 2022
Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project
Interview SummaryDaryl Wall served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador from 1971 – 1973 in the field of education specializing in engineering instruction to college-aged students. He attended Washington State University and majored in mechanical engineering before beginning work with the Boeing Corporation in Seattle. He had a roommate in college, a returned volunteer who was stationed in Honduras. He had wanted to join the Peace Corps after college but began work with Boeing and then asked for a leave of absence upon applying and being accepted – along with his wife, Barbara and their two children aged four and six – as a family. He, along with 10 other families, then spent two days in Washington, DC during a pre-invitation visit. He and his family did not have a choice of country selection and, upon being assigned to Ecuador, they went back home for a few weeks. It would not be an easy two years for families, and Daryl noted that only three of those families made it through to the completion of their tour of duty. He began training in Ponce, Puerto Rico where the family was housed, and much of the early training was in learning Spanish. Daryl felt that the training was well done with much individual support. His two children attended a pre-school in the area. They left for Ecuador (it was Daryl’s first time leaving the United States) with 48 other PCV’s and finally arrived at the town of Guayaquil where they spent two weeks in a pensione with one large room for the family and had to share a bathroom before they could find their own place to live. It was in a new apartment building with about 1000 square feet of living space. They had a used refrigerator and only basic necessities. There was no hot water, and they had to purchase their own furniture and beds. After one more month of training there, Daryl began his assigned work in a polytechnical university with 30 students to a class. His students were well motivated, and Daryl followed an engineering curriculum guide. Specifically, he taught Gas Dynamics, and Advanced Computer Programming, and, in his second year, he taught Gas Turbines, a program which he helped set up. His classes didn’t start until 5:00 pm, but he had office hours for his students starting at 10:00 mostly every morning. The curriculum was based upon a six-year program. Daryl had a one-on-one tutor for a month before his actual instruction began; her name was Gladys, and she became a close personal friend for the duration of his time at the school. There were seven other PCVs working at the university, and there was a local Peace Corps office in their locality, so support was constantly available. His wife had no particular assignment, so she taught arts and crafts (especially macramé) in neighboring barrios. Daryl also did some teaching at the Central Guayaquil University which admitted women as well as men for engineering. During vacation periods, Daryl and the family traveled to Bogota, Columbia, to visit a friend, Mark, whom they also visited later on when he lived in Lima, Peru. He also took a nine-day boat trip to the Galapagos Islands. Closer to home, Daryl and his family enjoyed the beach, as they lived near the coast, and oftentimes his students accompanied them. He lived near a river, as well, and the family loved to recreate there. During his tour of duty, Daryl incurred a dislocated shoulder which necessitated his being flown to Washington, D.C. for surgery. He spent three weeks in a hospital before returning to Ecuador. He often thinks back upon his volunteer days with all positive feelings. He was extremely proud that his students learned significant skills because of his good work, and some students even ended up in America. He keeps in touch with some of them to this day. He was able to reclaim his position at Boeing and spent his entire career there with the company. Through them he was able to work in various locations because of his Spanish language acuity; he was a tech rep in Honduras and an engineering consultant in Venezuela and Mexico City. Upon retirement, Daryl loves to kayak and to fish, and he is also involved with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Miami.
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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Wall, Daryl Interview by Donald C. Yates. 02 Mar. 2022. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Wall, D. (2022, March 02). Interview by D. C. Yates. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Wall, Daryl, interview by Donald C. Yates. March 02, 2022, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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